I've been a Smashing Pumpkins fan since I first caught Cherub Rock on the radio in '93. I jumped on the subway and headed downtown to pick up Siamese Dream and just loved what I heard. What a great album.
I played the mess out of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and enjoyed Adore, too. By 2000, the Pumpkins were calling it quits and on their farewell tour. It came to Barrie as part of Summersault and I was sure to get a ticket.
I was so disappointed by that 2000 Pumpkins show that it turned me completely off the band. The set seemed short, there was no encore, they barely played their hits and when they did they rearranged them significantly. I thought they were awful.
That bitterness had legs, because earlier this year I said "no thanks" when my wife offered to buy us tickets. I did apply for a media pass, but was rejected by Live Nation early yesterday morning. Then, just before 6pm, I got a message from my buddy Bob. He had an extra ticket. I jumped on my bike and headed east.
From the opening song "Disarm" I knew it was going to be better than 2000. They played a very long set full of their hits and they sounded great. They even covered Bowie and Zeppelin. It was a fantastic night, full of great live music, a wonderful late night bike ride along the lake and the tastiest watermelon I've ever enjoyed.
I will say, the Smashing Pumpkins do lack a certain energy live. It doesn't feel like a Pearl Jam or Hip show where the crowd emanates an air of electricity. But the show did indeed rock and I'm glad I got to witness their redemption, 18 years later.
Here's the setlist from last night at Scotiabank Arena:
- Space Oddity
- The Everlasting Gaze
- Stand Inside Your Love
- Blew Away
- For Martha
- To Sheila
- Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
- Tonight, Tonight
- Stairway to Heaven
- Cherub Rock
- Ava Adore
- Try, Try, Try
- The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning
- Bullet With Butterfly Wings
- Baby Mine